June 22, 2024

NBK and Zain inks agreement with KFAS to launch a digital program

Dr. Ameenah Farhan, KFAS Director General, Mr. Sulaiman Barrak Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of National Bank of Kuwait - Kuwait, and Mr. Nawaf Algharabally, Acting CEO of Zain Kuwait during signing ceremony.
Dr. Ameenah Farhan, KFAS Director General, Mr. Sulaiman Barrak Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of National Bank of Kuwait - Kuwait, and Mr. Nawaf Algharabally, Acting CEO of Zain Kuwait during signing ceremony.

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and Mobile Telecommunications Company – Zain Kuwait have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), with the goal of initiating a training program designed to develop and empower young national talent. This program aims to provide participants with the essential skills necessary to fulfil labour market demands, particularly in the fields of digital transformation, data knowledge, and artificial intelligence.

The agreement was signed at KFAS’s headquarters, in the presence of Dr. Ameenah Rajab Farhan, KFAS Director General, Mr. Sulaiman Barrak Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of National Bank of Kuwait – Kuwait, and Mr. Nawaf Algharabally, Acting CEO of Zain Kuwait.

NBK, Zain and KFAS logo

The MOU details a cooperative effort to exchange expertise and knowledge for the purpose of advancing and improving digital skills among the youth, equipping them with the essential qualifications needed for the labour market. Furthermore, it encompasses the planning and implementation of educational initiatives, activities, and events specifically targeted at the young participants, in collaboration with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI).

The agreement involves KFAS, supported by NBK and Zain, forming strategic alliances with global academic and research institutions renowned for their expertise in digital technology capacity building. This collaboration aims to aid in designing and delivering training programs, activities, and events both within Kuwait and internationally.

This unique initiative is designed to engage young individuals in the programs, activities, and events that will be provided to them in a competitive format, ensuring equal opportunities for recent graduates and entry-level professionals.

The training program aims to develop digital skills and capabilities of individuals to use advanced digital tools, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing, coding, big data, robotics, and cybersecurity. This initiative aims to enable participants to effectively leverage and implement these tools in the professional workplace.

The program’s objective is around fundamental concepts, incorporating interactive hands-on activities and project-based learning. It also features mentoring and coaching to support participants throughout their learning journey. The curriculum is multi-modular, offering both in-person and virtual modules, with sessions taking place in Kuwait and South Korea.

During this event, Mr. Sulaiman Barrak Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO of National Bank of Kuwait – Kuwait, remarked, “We are delighted to formalize this agreement, showcasing the dedication of private sector organizations to their societal obligations in training and preparing our youth for a labour market currently undergoing significant changes and advancements, primarily influenced by artificial intelligence, robotics, and data knowledge”.

Al-Marzouq further noted that the main goal of this collaboration is to help close the digital skills gap in Kuwait and to equip Kuwaiti talent with the digital skills and competencies required to thrive in an increasingly technology-dependent world.

Furthermore, Al-Marzouq emphasized NBK’s commitment to actively contribute to the developmental journey of the current generation of Kuwaiti youth through various sponsored initiatives. He highlighted the importance of providing proper guidance to fully harness the energy and capabilities of young Kuwaitis, thereby bolstering sustainable development efforts.

NBK firmly believes that joint private public sector initiatives to provide the young generation with the required knowledge and skills are instrumental to individual as well as social wellbeing and prosperity.

NBK also recognizes the importance of investing in the human capital, and to this end, it has recently launched NBK Tech Academy, the first of its kind academy focusing on digital and data technologies. The Academy provides a professional training program to qualify young Kuwaiti talents in areas including FinTech, Data Analytics, Ethics in Technology, Cyber Security, Fundamentals of Digital Payments, Digital Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, Scripting and Programming, Fundamentals of Codifications, and Finance for Non-Finance Professionals.

Mr. Nawaf Algharabally, Acting CEO of Zain Kuwait, commented: “Through this partnership, we will explore collaborative avenues in digital transformation, with a focus on nurturing the tech innovation skills of our youth. Our shared vision is to cultivate digital communities and foster a collaborative ecosystem that fosters innovation and empowers capacity building.”

Algharabally added: “This collaboration aligns seamlessly with our strategic initiatives, bolstered by our existing MoUs with various entities, all aimed at investing in and empowering local talents, particularly within the areas of technology and digital proficiency. Over the years, Zain has proudly trained thousands of ambitious young men and women, reinforcing our commitment to the nation’s sustainable growth.

Representational Image (Image by Freepik)
Representational Image (Image by Freepik)

He continued: “At Zain, our strategic vision revolves around creating an empowering environment for our youth, equipping them with the skills necessary to navigate the opportunities presented by today’s digital landscape. Technology undeniably underpins people’s personal and professional lives, ushering in a new generation reliant on tech innovation to navigate evolving career pathways.”

Algharabally concluded by saying: “Promoting a digital culture among young people is of paramount importance today, given the pivotal role technology plays in achieving digital transformation objectives. That’s why Zain is steadfast in reinforcing strategic partnerships, recognizing the indispensable role of technologies such as AI, managed cloud services, cloud computing, and digital applications in shaping today’s business landscapes.”

This step reflects Zain’s unwavering efforts to support and grow the innovation ecosystem in the local community, and comes as an extension to the MoU signed between Zain and KFAS last October. The agreement saw the two partners join forces to accelerate capacity building, upskill national talents in the private sector, grow research & development in innovation, enable social enterprises, and empower local entrepreneurs. This partnership also goes in line with Zain’s Innovation Nation initiative, under which all of Zain’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs fall, especially within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas. The initiative mainly targets the youth, and centres around a number of pillars, including entrepreneurship, investment, startups acceleration, supporting inventors, fostering innovation, and more.




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